Hardwick, News

House and Senate Override Neonicotinoid Ban Veto

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MONTPELIER — House and Senate votes on June 17 overturned Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of H.706, allowing the bill banning the use of neonicotinoid pesticides to become law.

The newly-passed bill will prohibit all neonicotinoid treated soybean and cereal grain seeds from being sold, distributed, or offered for sale in Vermont. It will also prohibit the use of neonicotinoid pesticides for multiple other uses.

The override vote passed the House of Representatives 114 to 31, significantly exceeding the 97 votes needed for the override. The Senate vote was 20 to 9, just reaching the 20 votes needed to override the veto.

Both local co-sponsors of the bill voted in favor of the override, Rep. Avram Patt, Lamoille-Washington (Woodbury) and Joseph “Chip” Troiano, Caledonia-2 (Hardwick, Walden and Stannard).

Rep. Troiano has put a lot of effort into shepherding this, and other neonicotinoid related bills through the Vermont legislature. He said on the eve of the override vote, “We’re happy it made it through both houses and we’re happy to join New York, Quebec and the United Kingdom in banning this pesticide that’s so harmful to bees.”

Further, Troiano said this vote shows we “overcame the disinformation offered against the ban with good, solid backing and good research.”

Emily Lanxner, who has been instrumental in bringing attention to the plight of bees facing colony collapse disorder through her “Honeybee Steel Band,” by marching in area parades and lobbying legislators, said she was ecstatic when she heard the news of the Gov. Scott’s veto override, saying, “Woo hoo!! Vermont is joining forces with New York State and Quebec to become a neonic-free zone! Power to the Pollinators!

Additional House votes by area representatives included, Yea: Rep. Mark Milhay, Washington-6 (Calais, Marshfield and Plainfield); Nay: Rep. Katherine Sims, Orleans-2 (Craftsbury and Greensboro); Rep. Henry Pearl, Caledonia Washington (Cabot); Absent: Dan Noyes, Lamoille-2, (Wolcott)

Senate votes by area representatives included, Yea: Sen. Ann Cummings, Sen. Andrew Perchlik and Ann Watson, Washington (Woodbury, Cabot, Calais, Marshfield and Plainfield); Nay: Sen. Jane Kitchel, Caledonia (Hardwick, Stannard & Walden); Sen. Bobby Starr, Orleans (Greensboro and Craftsbury); Sen. Richard Westman, Lamoille (Wolcott).

Paul Fixx is editor of The Hardwick Gazette and lives in Hardwick.

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